After delaying a vote on the bill saying he wasn’t sure he had the votes for passage, House Speaker Bill Batchelder brought HB 45 to the floor.  The bill would permit a licensed carry-concealed weapon permit holder (CCW) to carry a firearm legally into any establishment where alcohol is served (so long as the permit holder does not consume any alcohol on the premises or is otherwise intoxicated) or in open arenas.  

The bill passed by a 56-40 vote with only Republicans Mike Duffey, Todd McKenney, and Kurt Schuring breaking party ranks by voting against the bill.   The bill had thirty-eight co-sponsors.

The Senate had already passed a similar bill, so now they just have to decided which version they want to send to Kasich.  Kasich has not yet publicly said whether he’d sign the bill into law despite being asked about his position about similar legislation repeatedly by gun rights activists during the campaign.

Having been stung with the NRA, Buckeye Firearms Association, and Ohioans for Carry Concealed Weapons endorsing Strickland, I’d bet money that the delay was to find out whether Kasich would allow the bill to become law or not.  I’d be surprised if Kasich vetoed this legislation given the opportunities to rehabilitate his image among the gun rights activists which are a significant constituency in the conservative/Republican movement.

The House also passed House Bill 54, which would restore the right of people with misdemeanor drug offense convictions (we’re talking simple possession, not traffickers) to legally possess a firearm.  That bill passed by a vote of 78-18.  We don’t yet have a list of the roll call vote.  I’ll update it once the House Journal becomes available.

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